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    • MSE Sarah
    • By MSE Sarah 31st Aug 17, 3:29 PM
    • 91Posts
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    MSE Sarah
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I give my younger sister a smaller wedding gift?
    • #1
    • 31st Aug 17, 3:29 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I give my younger sister a smaller wedding gift? 31st Aug 17 at 3:29 PM
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    A few years ago, my older sister got married - my husband and I were doing well so gave her £500 as a wedding gift. My younger sister is getting married later this year and we are not doing as well and also now have children. Have we set a precedent and should we give £500 again as a wedding gift or can we give less based on our circumstances?

    Unfortunately the MSE team can't always answer money moral dilemma questions as contributions are often emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be enjoyed as a point of debate and discussed at face value.

    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply!

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    Last edited by MSE Andrea; 07-09-2017 at 11:48 AM.
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Page 2
    • Mollyeyre
    • By Mollyeyre 6th Sep 17, 10:52 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    Mollyeyre
    The clue is in the word 'gift', you give what you can NOT what someone else thinks you should, I hate it when a GIFT becomes an OBLIGATION. She is your sister - if she loves you she will not care whether it is £5 or £500
    • elizabethhull
    • By elizabethhull 6th Sep 17, 11:06 AM
    • 158 Posts
    • 596 Thanks
    elizabethhull
    The clue is in the word 'gift', you give what you can NOT what someone else thinks you should, I hate it when a GIFT becomes an OBLIGATION. She is your sister - if she loves you she will not care whether it is £5 or £500
    Originally posted by Mollyeyre
    Quite !
    However, I do see your problem. How about £250 now, but set up a savings account into which you put £5 a month (or £10 or whatever you can manage), and as soon as it reaches £250 hand it over - by then she will just be recovering from the huge expense of getting married and a financial extra will be very welcome.

    By the way, you could tell your sister that you really want to treat them the same (at which point she might say she has no idea what her other sister received), but you can't manage it now, and give her an IOU, whereupon a nice sister will promptly tear it up, give you a kiss, and say it doesn't matter.
    • Torry Quine
    • By Torry Quine 6th Sep 17, 11:20 AM
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    Torry Quine
    £500 was a huge amount to give but it fitted with your circumstances then. Now things have changed so you should give what is affordable not feel you have to give the same
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    • Top Girl
    • By Top Girl 6th Sep 17, 11:52 AM
    • 1,081 Posts
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    Top Girl
    Perhaps when your older sister married you should have foreseen that your younger one might also in the future, and put by £500 (+ inflation!) for that rainy day?

    What did they give you when you got married? Match that, plus whatever else you can afford.

    Incidentally, £500 isn't going to go far towards the cost of the average marriage, so you will have got off lightly...
    Originally posted by John Gray

    Got off lightly?


    OP isn't responsible for funding her sister's marriage or life thereafter.
    • jmwillow
    • By jmwillow 6th Sep 17, 12:52 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    jmwillow
    Perhaps when your older sister married you should have foreseen that your younger one might also in the future, and put by £500 (+ inflation!) for that rainy day?

    What did they give you when you got married? Match that, plus whatever else you can afford.

    Incidentally, £500 isn't going to go far towards the cost of the average marriage, so you will have got off lightly...
    Originally posted by John Gray
    I don't think you have read the dilemma properly. Why should a SISTER have got off lightly? Are you thinking it was a parent?
    In reply to OP £500 is a lot to give a sibling for a wedding gift. It was a very kind gesture and I am sure if you explain to your sister she will happily accept whatever you can now afford.
    • AubreyMac
    • By AubreyMac 6th Sep 17, 1:08 PM
    • 1,063 Posts
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    AubreyMac
    I would feel the need to match it, that's just the fairest and easiest way I reckon. It is not your younger sisters fault that your financial situation is now different.


    I think I would take it personally if one sister got more than me and I would feel bad to receive more than my sister too. It is not the amount of money, but the principle and attitude towards it I guess.
    • happyinflorida
    • By happyinflorida 6th Sep 17, 1:12 PM
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    happyinflorida
    Discuss it with your sister
    • Borage
    • By Borage 6th Sep 17, 1:14 PM
    • 48 Posts
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    Borage
    My personal Honour and morals would compel me to give the same amount to both of them even if i had to give half when they married and the other half in a few months or even a years time.
    How much is the other sister going to give the younger sister ? £500 perhaps ! how would that make the OP sister feel if she gave less than that ? . This situation where one sister gets given more than another sister has the potential to split familys, and all for the sake of a few quid
    • REJP
    • By REJP 6th Sep 17, 2:29 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    REJP
    Give what you can afford. Simple. If your sister cannot understand your financial circumstances have changed and that you cannot give more that is her problem. One day she may be in the same situation as yourself.
    Why not tell her money is tight for you at the moment? Any decent loving sister would not want you to be stressed about the size of the gift.
    • BaldacchinoR
    • By BaldacchinoR 6th Sep 17, 3:23 PM
    • 123 Posts
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    BaldacchinoR
    To me, this is a matter of being fair, regardless of whether this issue has been openly shared or not i.e. all parties were/are in the know about how much was given to the older sister. Each sister should be treated equally. The problem is that being generous when you were flush has become a mistake. If you had made it an affordable gift, as opposed to what has now transpired to be an unaffordable one, then you would not be in this position. Someone suggested above that you could have put £500 aside for the younger sister when you were flush, which is an idea. Otherwise you could explain that the £500 for the younger sister can only paid by installments, whereupon she may be generous enough to say just give what you can afford.
    • thisisalwaysmyonlinename
    • By thisisalwaysmyonlinename 6th Sep 17, 3:27 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    thisisalwaysmyonlinename
    No, give her the same £500
    You gave your other sister £500 so you should give this sister £500. If you don't it will look like favouritism and trust me it won't be worth all the pain in the long run. Also £500 now is actually less than £500 then - plus (admit it), even though the kids are costing you more - you're not on the breadline are you? You can actually afford the £500, you'll just have to go without some luxuries for a while. I'm afraid you made a rod for your own back when you gave the first sister the £500 gift, you must know that you can't give your other sister less, it really wouldn't look good or be fair.
    • Tammykitty
    • By Tammykitty 6th Sep 17, 4:48 PM
    • 506 Posts
    • 1,070 Thanks
    Tammykitty
    I think this one depends on your circumstances - if things are really financially tight, then give what you can afford (but have a discussion with your sister and offer your time instead so she knows it isn't personal)


    If however, you are just not quite as flush as you were, but the £500 will just mean a few less luxuries, (ie: you will still spend £200 + on a dress for the wedding, or £1000's on holidays, or eat out once a week etc) then I think you should give the sister the same as your other sister.


    Also, you should bear in mind, that when the older sister got married, you had no children, so it was just you and husband (or other guest) at the wedding, the younger sister will presumably be inviting your children to the wedding - so will actually have additional costs too.


    It's not actually about the money, its that the sister could feel you favour the older sister and therefore gave her more etc.
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    • pollym57
    • By pollym57 6th Sep 17, 5:02 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    pollym57
    Wedding gift
    If you can't afford it then do what you can. It should be "the thought that counts".
    My Son is getting married this week in Cyprus and we couldn't afford a big gift as well as Cyprus. (We're pensioners). He said he's just happy we're going and not to worry about a gift.
    Talk to your Sister, she should understand that circumstances change and be grateful for anything.
    • tillylil
    • By tillylil 6th Sep 17, 6:19 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    tillylil
    I would treat them the same to avoid any future ill feeling. These things always return to bite you on the bum.
    Obviously if you are skint then you can only give what you can afford.
    I wouldn't get into debt over it either but be prepared to explain your reduced circumstances if your younger sister is aware of previous gift to older sibling.
    • hippygran
    • By hippygran 6th Sep 17, 10:51 PM
    • 186 Posts
    • 500 Thanks
    hippygran
    If you really can't afford to give the same to both sisters (in our family, we really to try to give things of equal value to equal relations - i.e. Siblings, nephews & nieces, children of nephews and nieces, and also grandchildren).
    That is just the way it has always been, from when we were little. Mom and dad treated us all exactly the same), then I think it is imperative that you talk to little sister about it.
    Recently my one sister gave another sister a lot more than she has given me. But there were good reasons for this, and because we are all so close there were no problems.
    I knew what was happening beforehand, and I knew and accepted the reasons.
    To be honest it wouldn't have upset me anyway, but we are not all alike, and little sister may think that it's because you think less of her.
    So to save upset communicate with her.
    • tgroom57
    • By tgroom57 7th Sep 17, 8:32 AM
    • 1,264 Posts
    • 12,532 Thanks
    tgroom57
    Give what you can comfortably afford, and first dibs on your baby equipment. That should comfortably equate to £500 - and your sis needs to know that raising children can be expensive.

    • Sammy Dexter
    • By Sammy Dexter 7th Sep 17, 9:26 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Sammy Dexter
    I had a similar experience over a baby's birth Gift. I gave my first great nephew £100, but only £50 to the second born as our financial circumstances had changed. I explained to my nephew and his wife who sincerely assured me that they hadn't expected another £100 and were delighted with the £50. This was the expected response from two very nice young people.
    • mark5
    • By mark5 7th Sep 17, 10:35 AM
    • 1,186 Posts
    • 801 Thanks
    mark5
    Give what you can afford, unless your a high earner I would have thought £100 is enough.
    • DBX
    • By DBX 7th Sep 17, 12:36 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    DBX
    Times and circumstances change, everyone concerned should remember this and accept it. There is no need to give £500 or a gift worth that amount. Consider what do the young couple need, or what do you think they would like to have as a wedding present. Then give it to them without feeling guilty.
    • hyacynth
    • By hyacynth 7th Sep 17, 3:02 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    hyacynth
    Just explain your circumstances to your sister and give what you can afford
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